20
May
09

Related Newswire Articles on Guantanamo – Salon

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Newswire Updates from Slaon.com:

New argument against closing Gitmo: Overcrowding
from Salon: War Room by Alex Koppelman

Sure, conservative radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt is so obviously — and often, desperately — partisan that Andrew Sullivan actually named one of his blogger awards for him. But sometimes Hewitt’s attempts to score points for his cause are so transparent, so naive, as to be almost endearing.

Thursday afternoon, in response to the what he interpreted as President Obama’s suggestion that some detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay could be moved to a supermax facility in Colorado, Hewitt wrote:

BTW: Supermax holds 490, and there are already more than 400 inmates. So even if the whole Gitmo gang goes to Colorado, where do they put the Unabomber’s buddies who have to move on?

How cute — someone who actually thinks that in the U.S., when our prisons hit capacity we stop filling them.

In fact, according to the most recent year-end summary of federal prison statistics, compiled by the Department of Justice for 2007, federal prisons were running at 136 percent of capacity. By that standard, there’s plenty of room in Colorado for the prisoners now at Guantanamo. There are about 250 currently held there, and many of them have already been approved for release. And if Colorado’s facility — which, according to the Web site where Hewitt got his data, is home to 404 inmates — is just brought up to the federal average, it would hold 666 prisoners. (I’m not advocating overcrowding here, there are a lot of negative consequences to the practice, just trying to introduce some reality to the discussion.)

Hewitt also wrote, “And what do the guards and staff of Supermax (and their families) think about being ground zero for Islamist fanatics in the U.S.?”

I don’t know — what do they think about supervising gang leaders, members of the Aryan Nation, and other killers of all stripes?

Dick Cheney is angry
from Salon: War Room by Alex Koppelman

There’s a chance that the substance of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday could have swayed Americans, could have changed the minds of some of those who’ve come to trust President Obama on national security issues. But as is so often the case when Cheney is involved, the messenger — and his tone — made that an unlikely prospect.

From the moment he began speaking, following Obama’s own talk on national security, Cheney came off as bitter and angry, lashing out against those who challenge what he and the Bush administration generally did during their time in office. Making a joke about how long Obama’s speech had run, the former vice-president said, “It’s pretty clear the president served in the Senate and not in the House of Representatives, because, of course, in the House, we have the five-minute rule.” From there he was on to a quite lengthy address of his own.

Obama pushes back on torture, terror
from Salon: War Room by Mike Madden

There are times for subtlety in politics, and there are times to blare your message so loudly there’s no chance anyone misses it. President Obama’s speech today about detaining terrorists, the White House decided, did not call for the quiet approach.

Standing a few feet in front of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Obama tried to seize a debate over Guantánamo Bay, “enhanced interrogation techniques” and other legacies of George W. Bush that has spun out of control. Republicans have apparently scared Democrats into opposing the administration’s plan to close the prison in Cuba; the Washington establishment is now more interested in what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about torture than in why the Bush administration thought it could get away with making people think they were being drowned.

Gitmo general told Iraq WMD search team to torture
from Salon: War Room by Mark Benjamin

In August and early September of 2003, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the man in charge of the Pentagon’s torture laboratory at Guantanamo Bay, was dispatched to Iraq, allegedly to Gitmoize operations there.

It seems to have worked, at least in one place. Soon after Miller visited with officials in charge of Abu Ghraib, guards there began to use working dogs, stress positions, extremely lengthy interrogations, isolation, yelling and nudity in order to try to wring information from prisoners — all techniques that had been used at Guantanamo and that the world would later see in photos released from an investigation in to what had gone on at the prison.

But according to the Senate committee’s report, before Miller met with the Abu Ghraib officials, he first made a little-known visit to the Iraq Survey Group, which was in charge of the hunt for WMDs in Iraq after the invasion.

Miller told the ISG they were “running a country club” by not getting tough on detainees, Chief Warrant Officer Brian Searcy, the ISG interrogation chief, told the Senate committee. Searcy said Miller suggested shackling detainees and forcing them to walk on gravel. Mike Kamin, another ISG official, told committee investigators that Miller recommended temperature manipulation and sleep deprivation.

Miller also told the ISG’s Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton that Dayton’s unit was “not getting much out of these people,” and complained that the ISG had not “broken” their detainees psychologically. Miller offered to send along suggested techniques, Dayton recalled, that would “actually break” the prisoners.

Related video complementing Salon’s article:

Keith Olbermann Interviews Abu Ghraib Former Commander

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann: Interviews Abu Ghraib Former Commander Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski about new information about the incident.

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